tv News4 Midday NBC September 24, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm EDT
dialogue is what moves us forward. i think all of these phrases i was touched by the way when he walked into the applause. he put his hands over his heart. >> right. >> he was very gracious. i think this was a gracious, aspirational speech, that people of different faiths and different political persuasions could take in many different ways. >> i want to go to peter alexander now because he's on the capitol grounds and as we can see, pope francis is making his way through the hallway. and he will in a second step out on to the balcony. peter, let me turn to you, you're surrounded by people. take me through what happens as they get their glimpse of this pope. >> well, for the last hour or so, the people here have basically been watching like we have on television, this visit by pope francis. and in matter of moments they're going to bet the moment they have been waiting for. which is the chance to see him walk on to that speaker's balcony. this is historic not only
because he was the first pope to speak before the joint meeting of congress, but the first anybody, the first individual to give remarks from the speaker's balcony. 50,000 tickets distributed here. and the moment during those remarks, during the pope's speech to congress that really -- we hear applause again as the cameras show him once again, was when he referred to the golden rule. that was the biggest ovation, the biggest applause. i think for many of the families that we have met here today, for them that is the single greatest life lesson that they can take home from this. the one that's applicable not just to the adults in this audience, but to all the young children. so many families that came out to witness this moment today. >> standing in the stattary right now a poignant moment. >> very moving to see that, controversy about the statue being there so i think his presence is very moving. >> as he makes his way to the balcony, kelly, you had a front row seat to history.
what was the feeling like in the room? >> matt, i think this was an engaged but restrained level of political involvement. very different than when i have observed the president addressing congress or other world leaders like benjamin netanyahu. members of congress were listening intently. i watched as bernie sanders cupped both ears to hear a bit better as he talked about poverty and social justice. i watched closely as james imhoff from oklahoma who is very much against the notion that a human being affects climate change, his hands were tightly clasped, not applauding as others did, when the holy father talked attack environment. behind me is chris christie and ben carson, spoke to both of them. they said they wanted to be here, to acknowledge this man of faith and to experience this once in a lifetime first ever
address by a pope to congress. >> kelly, thank you very much. there were some moments that seemed as if some of the lawmakers, the people in the room were moved nearly to tears. i think i saw john boehner choking up at some point. of course he's somewhat famous for that, but it was obviously a moving experience for him. having met the pope earlier in his office and then there's a moment right there and then watching him and listening to him deliver that speech. nobody in that room as much as they have done and seen in their lifetime will ever forget the moments that they just experienced. >> extraordinary. i was very moved by it. and the use of the four figures across american history, and very provocative figures in some ways, but ones that expr
will be hosted by timothy cardinal dolan. 3,000 people expected at st. patrick's. looking ahead to tomorrow, a procession through central park. mass at madison square garden. then over the weekend, heading down to philadelphia. a very busy schedule for a man who has already done so much in just about 36 hours. we're going -- first of all, bishop barron, thank you so much. thanks to our correspondents at the capitol. we'll have coverage throughout the day on msnbc and nbc news.com.
a special edition of news 4 midday begins now as we take a live look at pictures from capitol hill. you just watched here on news 4 as pope francis became the first pontiff to address the united states congress. wah lawmakers and he gave a moving and powerful speech, touching on a number of issues, including immigration, including religious liberty, and also the sanctity
of life. this is his last day in the nation's capital before traveling to new york and he has a few more events before taking off. now that his capitol hill address has wrapped up, he'll visit st. patrick's church at 10th and j streets northwest. >> we expect francis' appearance at st. patrick's church to be a quick one. he'll then head to catholic charities, where he'll feed the homeless. welcome to special coverage of news 4 midday. i'm barbara harrison. >> i'm yuan lang. it was really a powerful speech. you could just see the members there reacting to the message he had. so many different issues that he touched upon. he touched upon immigration, he touched upon religious liberty, he talked about the refugee crisis, and he also invoked powerful figures in our history to make his speech. he called on lawmakers to
cooperate with each other and with the rest of the world. he also asked them to ask with open hearts. >> a lot of applause. >> i want political leaders is one who is with the interest of all in mind, ceases the moment in a state of openness and pragmatism. a good political leader always opts to initiate processes rather than possessing spaces. >> again, lots of applause. several standing ovations. pope francis ended his speech, of course, with god bless america. not only lawmakers, there are thousands outside the capital right now on the west lawn and were very happy when he came out
and spoke to them. we want to begin on the east front, where pope francis began his visit to congress. >> the pope hit on several important issues during his speech. even calling america a land of dreams when discussing immigration. what else stood out to you during this address? >> reporter: you're absolutely right. let me point out first, we have this live picture for you, they've relocated the pope's vehicle, we expect he will exit from the capitol at any moment now. we just saw archbishop wuerl come out of the building. security officers have been moving into place. we've seen other vehicles and the motorcade move into place, as well. steve, i don't know if we can swing the other way, swing past me, i want to point out that another receiving party has appeared on the steps and i should note at the very front of the line, can't see, but d.c.
mayor here in washington, d.c. and again we expect that he will come out of the capitol building at any moment. i mentioned earlier before the pope got here there had been a group of vips gathered outside in a central location so they would be able to -- [ cheers and applause ] -- there he emerges from the capitol. this receiving line, if you will, greeting him there, some of the leadership from the house, you may have seen vice president joe biden standing almost directly behind the pope. i believe we see nancy pelosi there off to one side, as well. he's here to shake a few more hands, talking directly with vice president joe biden, a
catholic, someone who has met the pope before, had an opportunity to speak with him in the past, some other members of the leadership there in congress, as well, meeting with him. you see mitch mcconnell there shaking hands with harry reid and then on down the line there through some of the leadership of the united states congress absolutely, pope francis hit on so many of the things that we thought might be points he would address, that did not stop him from talking about them. i am fortunate right now to have joining us here virginia congressman don beyer, who had an opportunity to listen to the pope speak. your thoughts as we watch the pope prepare to depart here? >> i was very thrilled. he spoke for a long time and he spoke about a lot of important issues, but always in a positive sense, in a way to bring people together. he was all the way over from talking about the rights of the
unborn, getting rid of the death penalty, to taking care of the environment. >> did you hear his speech and his comments, he didn't take a hard line on any issues, he came at them from an academic perspective, almost. do you feel there was a call out to you and other members of congress to do something? >> i think very much so. it was a message of healing. he kept talking about us as a political body, legislative body that had to pass laws that changed people's lives and was probably thinking about next week and the potential government shutdown and the inability on immigration reform. it was interesting and wonderful he asked us to consider the individual faces, the individual stories and lives, then reflect on the kind of politics. >> so does that then call don beyer to do something differently when you show up for work tomorrow and in the future? >> what it does is make sure i understand the perspective of the people in the house that don't agree with me or don't want to vote with me, that each
of us tries to understa the other's perspective and find a common ground that lets us move virginia. >> we appreciate you making time for us today. thank you so much. again, we're watching as the motorcade moves very slowly here. several of the, as i mentioned, several dignitaries gathered at the foot of the steps to the house side of the capitol. the cheering you hear close to me, congressional staffers behind the media, behind the fence line as the pope comes by now directly past us. he is giving a little wave, waving now out the other side closest to members of congress and other local dignitaries, state leaders who have been invited to witness the pope's speech to congress today. slowly the motorcade makes its way back to to constitution avenue and over to st. patrick, where the pope will get an
opportunity to do what this pope loves to do most, an opportunity to connect with people who maybe have been forgotten to some degree by society. he's going there with a message to those folks to say you have not been forgotten, he remembers and wants to share the love of god and encourage each and every one of us watching today to do the same thing, to remember those who may feel as though they've been forgotten and to do some work to change that and to create opportunities for some of the folks. again, i have to go back to the speech as we've been listening here for about 50 minutes or so, the pope spoke, interrupted a few times by applause. again, he touched on so many issues. he talked about immigration, he talked about gay rights, he talked about abortion, and some of those issues he talked very directly. some of the issues he touched on a bit. we have a piece of sound i want to play for you here, part of what the pope had to say today
to the united states congress. thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. is this not what we want for our own children? >> applause after the pope said that. he went on to make the point that government leaders here should not be afraid and the community at large should not be afraid at the numbers of people he referenced there, talking about immigration, that we should work to find some way to embrace them and try to include people who are coming to this country in the work that we're doing and try to find a way to be more inclusive. back in to you guys. there are a lot of congressmen and senators milling about here
now. we're going to try to talk to some of them and come back in a bit. >> thanks so much. even though the pope gave a 50-minute speech talking about all these issues, what really struck me was the message on the balcony. talked about the importance of children and then asked everyone to pray for him. that was so true to form in the person that he is, not just the figure of hope. >> and throughout his visit here so far we have seen him constantly reaching out to the people and seeming so much more comfortable when he was in the presence of the common man. although he looked pretty comfortable up there. >> he did. i felt as the speech went on he grew more comfortable. you could hear the conviction in his message and the way he used his hand gestures. we heard he might be nervous because this is the longest speech in english he's ever delivered, but he knew what he was talking about and the message came through. >> i think he got more and more comfortable with the language. you could tell in his speech he understood what he was saying, wasn't just reading words
somebody had translated for him. >> what was at stake there. >> incredible. >> here are live pictures now of the pope moving towards st. patrick church. the pope is expected to arrive in just a few moments there on his very busy schedule. >> and we are going to be at st. patrick's right now. chris gordon standing by to talk to us. anticipation of the open's arrival. i guess there's a lot of that area is cordoned off to visit visitors. what's it look like now, chris? >> reporter: you're right, the street in front of st. patrick's is cordoned off, but a block from here is a large crowd, crowds on top of office buildings and mind me you see here to greet the pope. he will be escorting the pope and archbishop cardinal wuerl down into st. patrick's.
i am hearing some cheering from the corner. we want to show you some of the people who entered here just within the past hour, the 200 clients of st. patrick's, people who are homeless, poor, sick. there are 63 program programs run by catholic charities and st. patrick's, there are shelter programs for people released from prison, people who need medical, dental, and health programs. i spoke with catholic charities just a few minutes ago and asked what the pope's visit means to him. >> this guy, for those of us working in social service, he's the man. he's really an inspiration. not just for us, you know, in the catholic church, but very universal and obvious the last couple of days. >> reporter: if i can quote for him, this guy, and he's the man. it shows as humanity. the pope asked to be here today
at st. patrick, he requested it, he wants to address homelessness in our city, the latest figure we have from the council of governments is that this area has 11,623 homeless people as of january of this year. now let me step out of the way as our coverage goes live. you can hear people beginning to cheer. motorcycles coming into the area right now. in front of st. patrick's. and this means the pope will be arriving very shortly. the motorcade has now come to st. patrick's.
and you see the fiat, the pope inside in the back. you can see him wearing and being greeted as he leaves the fiat. and is about to walk into st. patrick's church here in washington. people are yelling papa, papa, asking him if he'll turn around, and, of course, he's being greeted. he'll go in here, he will address the 200 clients of st. patrick's. they represent 120,000 people, men, women, and children, who receive charity, aid, shelter, and food. again, the pope asked to come here today, and he is being escorted up the stairs. to be greeted by the pastor of st. patrick's, who is salvador chriscolo. he is d.c. police chaplain. he is a man who rides a harley
to some of the worst tragedies in our city to give comfort to first responders. now let's look as he greets the pope. as he enters, there have been cheers over the past day. you see him, you hear him, the pope is present. and he is present here today to give an address. to try to make us all realize the plight of homelessness. now, we have received an embargoed copy of his remarks, so there's not a lot i can say, except for the fact that somebody just minutes ago member
of the media, came around to me, there are a lot of poor people here. i'm noticing some of them are dirty, some of them are -- very well behaved, but some of them are on the street and they don't look desirable. i said, isn't that what the pope is trying to address, that we have to look beyond that. that the pope is going in to say he identifies with the homeless in our city. he is going in to be with them and then he will ultimately have lunch with them. once he goes from st. patrick's at the catholic charities. let me send it back to you. >> all right, chris gordon, thank you, chris. again, we're looking live at the pope now inside st. patrick's. you can see the security detail around him as he reaches over to greet people who are now inside that chapel. >> it's amazing to see all of the cell phones that are out. we've seen that at every stop
you've made, we have someone here with us. talk a little bit about why he's made this particular choice of a church to go to. >> well, he's at st. patrick's because i believe because of his proximity to the soup kitchen where he will be not just feeding the homeless, he's going to be having lunch with them. that's who this pope is. isn't that i'm here to give you stuff. that's part of it if necessary, but i'm here to be with you and live with you. >> i think i understand this is one of the oldest catholic churches in the district of columbia. >> that's correct. it's a very historic church, most certainly. >> and let's go back to the speech. what struck you about the pope francis' message to congress today? >> well, it was certainly, i found it personally a very moving message. i don't think anybody in congress who heard his message
felt scolded. i think they felt, as i did personally, inspired. he reminded us of our better selves as americans and i love the way he used poor americans to drive home his point, abraham lincoln, martin luther, dorothy day, i think it was inspiring. >> interesting, too, didn't come off as he was preaching because he kept using the word dialogue and conversation. >> that's who this pope is. at one point he said i'm a bridge builder. that's the very term pontiff comes from the latin bridge builder. the pope is the pontiff maximus, the greatest, biggest bridge builder and that's what he's doing, calling for dialogue. i may disagree with you, but let's talk. i don't have to hate you or kill you. let's talk. let's figure something out together. >> and he really brought back a
very basic idea. the golden rule. treat others the way you want to be treated. what is his message there? >> that's a scriptural message. the golden rule is really god's rule for us, and what was interesting is the way he used that in the section he was talking about immigration and inviting us to treat immigrants the way we'd like to be treated but pivoted to life, to the unborn, to issues of life, and then to the death penalty, applying that same rule. >> on the immigration issue, i think the fact he said these people are people, look to benefit their lives moving forward, isn't this what we'd want for our own children. >> of course. they are us.
he reminded us most of us in the united states, we are a nation largely made up of immigrants. >> almost all immigrants except for native americans. he mentioned native americans, too, in his speech. >> he did and the mistreatment. he acknowledged their mistreatment in the early colonial period and called us to do the best we can to make up for them. >> bring our attention back to st. patrick's. he's there at the altar, is that right, father? >> yeah. >> what is happening here, time of prayer? >> i believe this is a moment of prayer and reflection for the pope. that's an important part of his life, we don't see it, but this is very much a man of prayer. this is a man who spends an hour in prayer every day and celebrates mass every day. >> he has also asked many to pray for him. i understand he got a hug from somebody who was not a child, a
grown up, outside the vatican embassy this morning and asked the person to pray for him. meanwhile, thousands gathered to be there on the capitol this morning, they wanted to be a part of history. they were there early, early this morning. >> that was because we've been talking about that historic speech from congress. live on the west side of the capitol this morning with reaction. megan, what are you hearing? >> reporter: you can see behind me people are starting to leave out here, but excitement is certainly the sentiment throughout the day, but it was interesting, after the pontiff delivered his address to congress, it became more of hope, reflection, and inspiration for a lot of people. many people referencing the simple things like the golden rule, the importance of treating others as you would want to be treated or when he talked about martin luther king's march to selma and the importance of respecting the rights of all people and to treat everyone with dignity.
we want to show you some footage, though, as the pope was approaching the capitol. it was a moment that a lot of people say they've been waiting for. some people say it's the moment they've been waiting their entire life for. some arrived early this morning to have the opportunity to see the pontiff. there were cheers, of course, when he addressed congress and many moments of silence as people listened to what he was saying and soaking in his message, but there were several times throughout the speech that the audience cheered and applauded. we spoke earlier with a woman who explained her sentiment about the pontiff. >> pope francis just means so much for the catholic community these days. he's just a beacon of hope and really, you know, stands for a lot of important things that the catholic church hasn't addressed in the past. >> and for a lot of the people we had a opportunity to speak with today, the biggest message
to take away, love one another, treat one another with kindness. political at times, certainly, if you're a republican things that might apply to you, democrats, same there, but no reason to be angry. the overwhelming message is loving one another. back to you. >> thank you, meagan. we want to bring your attention back to st. patrick's, he arrived there after his speech to congress. let's listen in a bit. [ speaking ining in foreign la]
>> this is, again, st. patrick's church, the oldest catholic parish in washington, d.c. this is a time of prayer for what is going to happen next, the pope is going to meet with the homeless and not only feed them, but have lunch with them. this is his final event before he goes back to the vatican embassy and heads home. >> catholic charities, of course, sponsoring that event later for feeding the homeless. it will happen, people have gathered already, and how effective is the work of
catholic charities? >> catholic charities is wonderful in its outreach to the poor throughout the archdiocese of washington, not just in the city, but around the archdiocese of washington includes the five maryland counties around that are closest to washington, including charles county, where my church is located. they are wonderful in the work that they do. part of the preparation for the reception of the pope, catholic charities inspired this walk with francis campaign and we've had over 100,000 pledges to serve the poor and to pray and honor francis. >> excuse me one second, father. we have the audio from the english translation, so let's listen in. no shelter, no home, no place to stay. the son of god came into this world as a homeless person.
the son of god knew what it was to be a homeless person. what it was to start life without a roof over his head. we can imagine what joseph must have been thinking. how is it that the son of god has no home? why are we homeless, why don't we have housing? these are questions which many of you may ask daily.
like saint joseph, you may ask, why are we homeless, without a place to live? these are questions which all of us might well ask. why do these, our brothers and sisters, have no place to live? why are these brothers and sisters of ours homeless? joseph's questions are timely even today. they accompany all those who
throughout history have been, and are, homeless. joseph was someone who asked questions. but first and foremost, he was a man of faith. faith gave joseph the power to find light just at the moment when everything seemed dark. faith sustained him amid the troubles of life. thanks to faith, joseph was able
to press forward when everything seemed to be holding him back. in the face of unjust and painful situations, faith brings us the light which scatters the darkness. as it did for joseph, faith makes us open to the quiet presence of god at every moment of our lives, in every person and in every situation.
god is present in every one of you, in each one of us. we can find no social or moral justification, no justification whatsoever, for lack of housing. there are many unjust situations, but we know that god is suffering with us, experiencing them at our side. he does not abandon us. we know that jesus wanted to show solidarity with every
he tells us this clearly, "i was hungry and you gave me food, i was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. i was a stranger and you welcomed me." faith makes us know that god is at our side, that god is in our midst and his presence spurs us to charity. charity is born of the call of a god who continues to knock on our door, the door of all people, to invite us to love, to compassion, to service of one another.
and insensitive in the face of injustice. in prayer, god keeps calling us, opening our hearts to charity. how good it is for us to pray together. how good it is to encounter one another in this place where we see one another as brothers and sisters, where we realize that we need one another. today i want to be one with you. i need your support, your closeness. i would like to invite you to
to give you god's blessing. the lord bless you and keep you. the lord make a space to shine upon you and be gracious to you. the lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. and please don't forget to pray for me. thank you. [ cheers and applause ] >> the pope concluding his speech to the catholic charities at st. patrick's church in northwest washington. those clients are organizations part of catholic charities that provide social services for the
poor, the sick, the elderly, the orphans, and particularly people who are homeless. he reminded us that jesus was born a homeless person and he reminds us that the way that his father, joseph, was able to deal with that was to have faith that helped him to see the light. >> absolutely. i think his message, one of hope and of faith and importance, really a call to help one another. as he said, god knocks on our door to seek love and compassion and service to one another and that's the message and he brought that all back to the homeless. and he is going to now serve the homeless and have lunch with them and that message that in faith and in prayer, that there are no rich and poor, just people, sons and daughters, and what a beautiful message that is. >> he said faith leaves to charity and that's what the catholic charities is all about, seeking out those people in need and serving them.
so he goes now to that lunch and i guess he'll be incensed to have something to eat. he'll certainly be a sight for all of these people who have been waiting so long to see him. >> tell us more about what you thought about this last part of his message here at st. patrick. >> i thought it was a moving message moving from the life of jesus to the importance of prayer and the theme that god is with us, even when we suffer, that god suffers with us, that jesus endured hardship in his own life. one subtle point at the end, and i have to say this as the descendent of irish immigrants myself, here he is at st. patrick's and the blessing he gave is known as the irish blessing, so it was a nod to the irish heritage of st. patrick's church there. >> that area is an area where a lot of the irish immigrants live in washington when they came here. bud dogget, known by many as an
important irishman in that area. that stretch, because he did so much to help the police and fire people establishing a union -- not a union, but pension for the lives of those who were lost in duty. >> we're going to check in with melissa now. we been talking about the activity surrounding the pope and his movement. what are you seeing right now? >> at this point we know we are still shut down, some roads here around the capitol closed until noon this morning. another few minutes until this is reopened and, of course, the motorcade is going to be leaving st. patrick's and heading back to the vatican embassy. we still have closures that are going to last around 2:00 p.m. g street between 8th and 11th. #th street and 10th, as well. while we're talking about it, also want to mention metro. metro opened regular today until midnight. all stations open.
they are going have the near rush hour service through the midday as folks are getting back home perhaps in the suburbs here. also a traditional evening rush is what we're going to be expecting tonight and back to normal schedule tonight at 7:00 p.m. we still have closures, downtown roads there around the capital should be reopening shortly. guys? >> the pope heads to catholic charities for the feeding event and we heard earlier about what they are going to have for lunch. i heard earlier they were having chicken and pasta salad and brownies for dessert. >> apparently the pope has a sweet tooth. this is a live look outside as the pope moves from his remarks at st. patrick to catholic charities. this is expected to bring in about 500 clients, homeless people, poor people, for whom the catholic charities serves.
the pope will not only serve individuals, but have lunch with them, which goes back to his original message to congress and to the people who gather at st. patrick. >> live there under the tent right now. they started to serve that lunch of chicken and pasta salad? >> not just yet, barbara. a look behind me here. you'll see the door open. this is a door of catholic charities and any moment now we expect the pope to come out. under this tent, several hundred clients here to have lunch with the pope. he talked to the congress but he's going to have lunch with the poor people here in washington. he just talked to some of the clients inside st. patrick. he talked about how there's no moral excuse for not having housing. he asked the people inside to pray with him, and now it looks
like we have a false start. the door closes. it reopens. bishop is out and it closes again. the anticipation grows here at the entrance of catholic charities. we have hundreds of people waiting here. the food is on the table. it's expected the pope will come o out, bless the food, may say something to the people here. how long he stays here, i don't know. he may eat with the people here, he may linger here, i don't know. he's the pope they say, he can do what he wants. so we're waiting now. people are standing. people have been here since about 9:00 this morning waiting to see the pope. they are clients of catholic
charities. catholic charities was founded back during the great depression in 1920s. for the homeless, hungry, and disadvantaged. they serve 4.2 million meals a year, but probably none more important than the meal they are serving today. the chicken breast, the pasta salad, the care carrots, rolls, and brownie. here comes the security detail. maybe this will be the time we actually see the pope. we can see deep inside, again, some officials conferring.
>> pat -- tell us about the idea of charity and the service that is so important to catholic charities. >> catholic charities, again, has been around a long, long time. it has hundreds of thousands of clients, provides jobs and food and housing for people in our area. it is an integral part of the catholic church here and the archdiocese of washington. the leader of catholic charities, john insler, father john, a wonderful priest. very much walking in the steps of pope francis, an engaging priest. i think i see father john back there now. any moment now i expect to see pope francis. and here he comes. father john first, cardinal wuerl, then pope francis coming out the steps of catholic charities.